Tragedy struck on Tuesday in Abia, when two persons died in an auto crash involving the motorcade bearing the wife of Abia Governor, Mrs Nkechi Ikpeazu.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt that the accident occurred when the motorcade was returning to Umuahia from Ntigha-Uzor in Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia, where Ikpeazu had attended a burial.
Eyewitness account said that the Hummer Bus carrying the deceased summersaulted thrice, when the driver attempted to overtake a vehicle at Ndiolumbe around 5 p.m.
A female occupant of the vehicle, who escaped unhurt, told NAN that the driver was on high speed when the accident occurred.
“The driver was on high speed and everybody in the vehicle was asking him to slow down. Suddenly the bus started jumping up and down before it started summersaulting,” she said.
She said that the vehicle summersaulted about three times and that she only found herself seated safely on a field by the road.
The middle-aged, fair-complexioned woman, who was dressed in a uniform dress designed for the burial, was full of praises to God, saying that “I escaped death by His grace.”
The driver of the Hummer Bus, Mr Bright Ugwubujor, blamed the accident on brake failure.
Narrating the incident to NAN at the Accident and Emergency Unit of the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, Ugwubujor said that the accident occurred when he attempted to overtake a vehicle ahead of him.
“When I tried to overtake the vehicle, I noticed an oncoming vehicle and attempted to retreat but I encountered a bump on the road and when I tried to apply the brake it could not work.
“Immediately, the vehicle began to summersault,” he said.
A medical doctor at the unit, where all the victims were brought for medical attention, confirmed to NAN on condition of anonymity that two women died in the accident.
He said that other occupants of the bus, including the driver sustained bruises and minor injuries.
He further said that one of the women, the wife of a former member of the state House of Assembly, Mrs Promise Uche-Nwamkpa, was brought in dead to the hospital.
The second woman, Mrs Nwamaka Maduchukwu, he said, gave up while doctors were battling to resuscitate her with the aid of an oxygen.
NAN reports that Maduchukwu, a widow and mother of four, was a Senior Special Assistant on Media to the Governor’s Wife.
She was also the chairperson, State Information Chapel of the Abia Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
Meanwhile, the Chairman of NUJ in the state, Mr John Emejor, who was at the hospital to sympathise with the victims, has expressed shock and disbelief over the incident.
Also, the former law maker, Uche-Nwamkpa, who was brought to the hospital to behold the remains of his wife, was seen weeping uncontrollably.
Her remains were thereafter taken to the hospital morgue, while those of Maduchukwu were seen lying at a corner of the hospital at the time of filing the report.
Her relations, church members and colleagues were seen praying for her revival.
An aide to the governor’s wife, Mr Chika Ojiegbe, confirmed the incident to NAN at the hospital, saying that the Office of the Wife of the Governor “will issue a release soon.” (NAN)